The annual conference of the National Union of Students is being held in couple of weeks time in April. On the agenda for this year’s conference are amendments and motions submitted by members of the Marxist Student Federation. Marxist students from UCL, Sheffield and Cambridge universities will be attending the NUS conference as delegates from their universities, elected on a fighting programme of socialist policies for the NUS.
These Marxist students are demanding that the NUS fight for the students it claims to represent. The NUS should be leading the charge when it comes to the fight against privatisation, guaranteed jobs after graduation and for decent public services. Cuts to education and high tuition fees are forcing students to pay for a crisis they have not caused. University vice-chancellors are raking in six figure salaries and pay rises of up to £72,000, while student services are cut and university staff suffer real terms pay cuts.
The NUS should be demanding that universities are not run for profit, or to line the pockets of university management, but democratically by staff and student representatives earning no more than the average workers’ wage so that the educational needs of society as a whole can be met.
One million young people are unemployed. The NUS should be fighting for a guaranteed job for all school and university graduates. It should also be fighting for decent working conditions for students after they’ve graduated – demanding an end to zero-hour contracts and for a real living wage.
Today’s students are tomorrow’s workers so the NUS must link up with the trade unions, not just in words, but in deeds. It is the job of the NUS to build student support for staff taking strike action and to join the trade unions in building a strategy of escalating action so that these disputes can be won. Both students and workers are being made to pay for crisis they did not cause – we are all in it together, against the bosses, bankers and Tories.
The amendments being discussed at the NUS conference point out that these demands cannot be won within the confines of capitalism. Capitalism is in crisis and it can no longer afford the educational and other reforms of the past. The NUS must fight for bold socialist policies, and argue for the nationalisation of banks and big business under the democratic control of the working class as the only way to fund decent education, healthcare and working conditions.
- No to cuts and fees!
- For a fighting student union!
- For a socialist NUS!